I'd seen a recipe somewhere in my paper-based collection, while searching for other things and was very intrigued by it. Pears aren't that common as jams. The recipe also involved star anise, which I have, but use extremely rarely, so another reason to try this. As often happens I wasn't able to find this recipe again, so I searched on the internet and there are a couple that came up and seemed fairly good, but I also found this one that had rosemary in it and seemed even better, so I decided to do this instead.
1.5 kg pears, after peeling and coring
1 tbsp lemon zest (2 small lemons)
2 dl water
1 sprig rosemary
3 dl granulated sugar
2 dl soft dark brown sugar
3 sachets pectin (16 g)
1 tsp citric acid
- Pre-heat the oven to 120°C and place several clean jam jars and their lids in there to heat up and steralise.
- Dice the pears fairly finely, about 1 cm, and place in a deep casserole dish.
- Add the lemon zest and water, stir through to combine and bring to the boil.
- When the pears boil, cover the saucepan, reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Measure up the sugars and add the pectin, then stir well to mix.
- Once the 20 minutes are up, add the sugar mixture and the rosemary sprigs and stir carefully, cover and let simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, take out the rosemary sprigs and stir in the citric acid, then carefully mash with a potato masher or blend with a blender.
- Taking out one jar at a time, fill it with jam and secure the lid tightly.
- Allow the jam to cool down to room temperature, then store in the fridge for up to 6 months.
I now have about 1.75 litres of lovely stuff and from licking the spoon, I can tell you it was very tasty. The recipe recommends this with a cheese board, but I'm pretty sure it'll work lovely on toast. The only thing is that due to the dark brown sugar, the jam is sort of brown and the original recipe uses just granulated sugar, but I didn't have enough so had to improvise. I will need to try the other recipe with star anise as well, if I can get more pears from Lundulph's parents.
A week later we tried the jam with some freshly baked bread. As it turns out, the pear flavour is almost entirely lost and the rosemary dominated. Also the jam hadn't set, but was more like a very sweet purée, so I've adjusted the amounts above to reduce the rosemary and increase the pectin. Lundulph thought it was OK, but if I'd used apples instead of pears, he wouldn't have known the difference. He wasn't particularly impressed with the rosemary and reckons I should skip it next time. I disagree, but it does need to be less.
Given the consistency it's turned out to be, I'll try to turn some of it into ice cream with the aqua faba foam, it might be nice.